Rocketship RISE Takes a Stand Against Bullying
By Marcel E. Harris, LGSW School Social Worker, Rocketship RISE
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Here at Rocketship RISE we officially launched our school-wide initiatives to help educate, support, and strategize ways to ensure RISE is a BULLY FREE ZONE. We launched our initiative by engaging in dialogue with Rocketeers on the impact of Bullying during our Community Meeting time. Staff utilized the Second Step Curriculum to discuss how to identify bullying, what it looks like to stand up against bullying and prevent bullying here at RISE. We decorated our atrium as a “Bully Free Zone”, which included colorful posters from our Kindergarten to 2nd grade Rocketeers and short essays from our 3rd to 5th grade Rocketeers. These essays highlighted the various ways they could be a true UPSTANDER for their peers and ensure RISE is a Bully Free Zone.
Not only did we support Rocketeers at the school level, but we also utilized our CareCorps program to support parents with strategies and parenting practices for Bullying Prevention Month. Our CareCorps program specifically aims to partner with families, build community, and support self-sufficiency. This is done through monthly skill-building workshops, community engagement events, referrals to external partners and emergency support. In partnership with Connected Psychology Services, our CareCorps team hosted a virtual skill-building forum titled “Supporting your child through Bullying”. This forum engaged parents on the various types of bullying and the ways to identify and prevent bullying. The conversation strategically focused on the effects of cyberbullying via social media outlets such as YouTube, TickTock, and Instagram. Parents were equipped with resources on how to change privacy settings and secure a safe environment for their children.
Additionally, Rocketeers were nominated each week by their teachers for an award called the “Upstander of the week.” This award was presented to Rocketeers who staff and teachers identified as being assertive, courageous, action-orientated, compassionate and a true leader amongst their peers. Our Upstanders of the week were greeted in class by Riley the Rocketeer who honored and recognized them with the bright orange “BullyBuster” cape, which they got to wear for the day. This encouraged Rocketeers to continue to be kind to one another and create a community in which all students feel safe and connected.
To close out Bullying Prevention Month, our Rocketeers vowed a pledge against bullying, which was led by our school social worker and wellness team. Pledges were posted in our atrium to remind our school community of our commitment to being a Bully Free Zone. This school-wide initiative for National Bullying Prevention Month supported healthy conversations with Rocketeers and the community. Bully Prevention is not limited to October however, year-round we will continue to encourage and support Rocketeers to ensure that Rocketship RISE is a Bully Free Zone.
Published on October 27, 2021